How to Plan a Second Wedding

Don’t know how to plan a second wedding? Our experts are here to help! Read on to discover our top tips and advice.

By Shameika Rhymes

How to Plan a Second Wedding
Photo by Karli Ryan Photo

Planning a second wedding can be just as stressful as it was the first time around. From choosing a wedding dress, drafting your guest list, and finding music for the wedding reception, Zola is here to help you with all your wedding planning needs.

There’s a lot of misleading information on the subject of second weddings. Some say that you don’t need to celebrate in a big way like your previous marriage, while others say that a second wedding is the time to do it better than the first go around. Every couple is different, so communicating with each other on your wedding expectations will help alleviate some stress.

Whether it’s your first wedding and your partner’s second or vice versa, or if you’ve both previously tied the knot, we’ve got a few tips that can help make planning your big day a little smoother. If you don’t know how to plan a second wedding, our experts are here to help. Below we’ve outlined everything you need to know when it’s time to plan a second wedding.

Find the Right Wedding Attire

If you went for the traditional white gown or tuxedo for the first wedding, you may want to consider switching things up for this wedding. While there’s nothing wrong with wearing white for a second marriage, this trip down the aisle affords you the chance to choose something different, whether its style, type of attire, or even a bold color, such as red. It’s all about what makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. It’s your wedding and you can wear what you want.

Choose Your Wedding Party

A traditional wedding party is a great way to honor your family and friends, even if it’s the second wedding ceremony. Whether it’s bridesmaids and groomsmen, or the other way around, you can even invite some of the people you chose for your first wedding to participate in the wedding party. Adding your children to the wedding party is a way to include them in the celebration on your big day.

Register for Gifts

Once upon a time, wedding etiquette rules leaned towards only registering for gifts for your first wedding. Throw those rules out the window, because updated wedding etiquette says that couples planning a second wedding can, and should, register for wedding gifts, if they desire to.

Pick one to two stores with the selection of items that you want or need for your home, or ask for gifts centered around a hobby that you both share, such as books or wine. Having a wedding registry will make it easier for guests to buy something for you to help celebrate your new life together. Sites such as Zola allow you to register for experiences or larger ticket items. If you chose not to receive gifts because you’ve been married before and have already received similar gifts, tell guests that no gifts are required, or consider donations for charity. Whatever you choose, just be sure to include it on the invitation.

Create Your Own Ceremony

Ceremonies aren’t a one-size-fits-all deal, so you can follow the traditional wedding processional or get creative with creating a different direction for the second wedding. Couples can decide on a large wedding or a smaller intimate one with close family members. With your previous marriage, you may have opted out of writing your own wedding vows, but this time would give you the opportunity to speak from your heart.

Choose words that reflect your wedding and relationship values. Share what makes your partner and this love so special—make it personal to make it even more romantic. Determining if you will walk down the aisle alone or with parents or children is also up to you. Make it a special day with your own spin on it.

Pay the Costs

For second weddings, couples shouldn’t expect their parents to cover all wedding costs, or even contribute to the wedding at all, although many will for a first wedding. Couples getting married for a second time are older and more financially stable, so they pay for the wedding themselves. If your parents offer, it’s up to you and your partner on how much you allow them to contribute.

It’s a Family Affair

How to Plan a Second Wedding | Zola Photo Credit // Pure Grace Photography

If either you or your future partner have kids, then it’s important to make sure that they feel involved in the wedding. Assign them an age-appropriate role, whether it’s doing a reading during the ceremony, walking down the aisle as a junior member of the wedding processional, or, if they are shy, just standing beside you.

Celebrate With Family and Friends

A couple can be the guests of honor at a wedding shower and both bachelor and bachelorette parties if a loved one, or the wedding party, hosts one. Most couples get what they need, such as pots and pans, dishes, and other household items during a first wedding shower. Many couples choose new items for their registry to reflect their new relationship, but some people may not want to purchase a second item for your second wedding.

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